School librarian Alicia Tapia understands the crucial role that books can play in promoting a love of learning and literacy. In order to spread that positive influence, in May 2013 she started Bibliobicicleta, a donation-based pop-up library to cart around the city of San Francisco on the bike of a bicycle.
With the goal of instilling “a love of reading, of learning, and bicycling in people of all ages and backgrounds,” Tapia spends her free time traveling to neighborhood events, parks, beaches, and areas with high homeless populations in an effort to bring free books to people who may lack regular access to them. Adults and children alike can take any book from Tapia’s bike trailer, which can store up to 100 titles. Sometimes, folks donate their used tomes, ensuring that there will always be fresh materials to give away the next day.
Although biking up and down the hills of San Francisco with a heavy, book-laden trailer can be exhausting, the rewarding experience of spreading the joy of books is worth it, according to Tapia. “Books do something for the human brain that nothing else can,” she told GOOD. “With books comes happiness, and people build empathy for one another. [We’re trying to offer] new perspectives and reignite an enthusiasm for reading.”